The Woodsman

Year: 2005
Director: Nicole Kassell
Writer: Nicole Kassell
Cast: Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, Mos Def, Benjamin Bratt, Eve
Steven Spielberg said the American movie industry was like India; no middle class, either the super rich or the desolately poor.

In Hollywood, he said, only two kinds of movies are made; the $100m plus blockbusters where the studios expect saturation marketing and licensing deals to carry them for the rest of the year, and the small movies that get the attention of awards, letting Oscars or the prestige of film festivals build their buzz.

And there's no better way to get a hit from the latter like making it an 'issue' movie; one which will immediately whip up passions from rage to sympathy among critics, where you either agree or disagree with the premise, where there's a question of such significance that everyone has an opinion.

The question in question here; do child molesters deserve a second chance in society? Bacon is a guy with a dark history of child abuse. Not the way you think though - he's been in jail for doing it.

He tries to re-enter life quietly, minding his own business, but he likes the ballsy co-worker at the lumber yard where he works (real life wife Sedgwick) and there's a cop who doesn't agree he should be free that won't leave him alone.

At the risk of adding to the cacophony of voices about the film, I happen to believe that no, he shouldn't have been allowed to walk among society again. He comes within a hair's breadth of doing it again and yes, it may be that he resisted and is somehow cured as a result, but would you want to take the chance that he'll do the right thing if it was your kid?

Everything about the movie - from the acting to the hues - is appropriately understated, and while it does nothing to resolve the issue or cast judgement on it, it'll get you thinking.

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